The most important character question

How do you understand a persons Character?


Earlier this week I came upon an interesting article on interview questions. To me it really resonated as it focused on what it called “the most important question” to understand a persons character (during an interview). The question was “Name 4 people and how you have helped their careers”. I love this question. It quickly helps to illustrate if the person is inwardly focused or focused on things other than themselves.

This question seems a sound one to use when working with people and selecting your next employee.


Take care of those around you

Let’s go back to another one of those father/son conversations. This one took place sometime my junior year of college around Thanksgiving.

My dad and I were out shopping, he was on the hunt for gifts for his employees, being a young man who “knew it all” I made some smart a$$ comment like, shouldn’t his employees be getting him something instead of him getting them something? He stopped dead in his tracks and stared at me with those penetrating eyes that all fathers (and mothers) have when they have something real important to say to their kids. He paused, let out a heavy sigh and, as he always did, quietly began to explain to me that, of all the people in his department he was the least important. Everyone on his team was vastly more valuable than he. His job was to set the direction, remove obstacles, and let his team do what they do best. He spent a good amount of time talking about the importance of leaders surrounding themselves with great people and making sure to provide their teams with the tools and support needed for them to be successful.

This is sound advice in your personal life also, surround yourself with great people, people who appreciate you for who you are and live a good life and you will be better off and happier.

Take care, enough said for tonight.

Just Do It!

“Just do it”….a slogan we have all heard many times.  Nike made it a ubiqutous phrase inspiring people to get up and get moving (and buy their products).  Its a great  slogan it has meaning…and its simple…but do we actually follow it?  Do we “Just do it”?

I venture to guess that, at least in the work space, “Just do it” is something that is more like “Just do it” but make sure you follow this process or have that business plan and make sure its approved by many levels of management….sound familar.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually agree with process and approval but I believe that you only need enough process or approval to actually make progress.  Making progress and doing something positive is the objective,  getting started so you can learn is key, in essence “Just do it”.  Make sure your processes support a “Just do it” approach or you will not move forward and your corporation will not survive the long term.

This is true in your personal life also, if you find yourself stuck and not moving forward then start small and just do it, do something anything, get off the couch and go for a walk make yourself better.  You will be a better person.

Remember, Just Do It.


What is your core?

What is your core?  This is a question we all need to think about, in our personal and professional life.  Your core is important it is who you are.  When you stray from your core goofy results will be the outcome.  While this is an important question we all need to answer many of us will not…we get to caught up in reaching out for something new and exciting.  We will focus on things that we perceive to be more valuable and we lose sight of what makes us who we are.

Companies like Apple and Nike have both proven that when an organization focuses on its core great things will happen and consumers will flock to your products even if they do not fit the traditional mold.

A few of the finest individuals I can point to in my life who understood their core was my mom and her father (my grandpa).  My mom was a wonderful outgoing person who loved being around people she turned this into a thriving business that relied on personality, and fun…she was the owner/operator of a very successful beauty salon.  When she passed well in excess of 2,000 people showed up to her visitation…it was overwhelming (and we lived in a small town).  She new her core, and was awesome at using it to her fullest.  My Grandfather was a man of the soil, he understood all of the ins and outs of farming…he never obtained a high school education but when he passed he provided exceptionally well for my grandmother and his family and his legacy lives on.  He passed on values and traditions to his children, grandchildren and tons of other people he knew and spend time with.

What is your core?  Are you true to it?  Are you maximizing it?  Or….are you distracted and off on to something that doesn’t work.  If you’re distracted go back to your core.



Simplify, its such an easy work and a simple task.  The definition of “simplify” is “to make less complex or less complicated; make plainer, easier: to simplify a problem.”  It seems like I hear a lot of talk about simplification these days yet we don’t seem to be very successful at it…why is that.

For a great example of simplification,  look no further than the Google home page.  When you go to Google it is clear what you are to do… everyone can understand the next step, its not hard….it’s simple, easy and straight forward.


So if we all want to simplify then why are we not good at it?  I think that the answer lies in the fact that we are not rewarded for simplification.  We are rewarded for things like new features, enhanced experiences, new this, new that, new something.  Making something simple is not new in fact it can counter the new. While we want to simplify we are not rewarded or incented to do so.  This holds true in our in our professional and  personal lives…in our personal lives we are rewarded for being busy because that gets recognition, being “not” busy does not garner attention and can be viewed as lazy.

To simplify we have to change our focus and goals and reward ourselves for making our products simpler to use and understand and our personal lives something we enjoy.

I encourage all of us to look for ways to simplify both your professional and personal lives, I bet you will be more success and live a happier life.

We seem distracted

Everywhere I go at SxSW people are looking down, reading their phones. Not a new phenomenon but something I’ve found disturbing at this conference. In most presentations 50-60% of the people are heads down looking at their phones txting, facebooking, etc. Seems odd we spend thousands of dollars coming to Austin to sit and do what we can do at home.

Maybe we should stop for an hour an pay attention we might actually learn something.